Crime - Sacto 911

Man convicted of robbing 88-year-old Marine veteran in Citrus Heights

A man accused of attacking and robbing an 88-year-old Marine veteran at a Citrus Heights senior care facility has been convicted by a Sacramento County jury.

Benjamin Tremper, 38, on Friday was found guilty of first-degree robbery with an elderly victim enhancement, and first-degree burglary with the allegation that the victim was home at the time, according to a Sacramento County District Attorney's Office news release. Jurors also found that Tremper had five prior strikes under California's "three strikes" law and that he had previously served a five-year prison term.

The victim, Charles George, was asleep in his residence at Crosswood Oaks Apartments, an independent senior care facility, about 6 a.m. Nov. 15, 2016, when he got up to use the bathroom. When he returned to his room, he noticed his blinds had been tampered with and the sliding glass door was open.

When George went down the hall to investigate, he was attacked by Tremper. The two struggled, and Tremper forced George to the ground. Tremper told George to stay on the ground as he looked around the room and stole items belonging to George.

George was able to sneak into the bathroom and pull an "emergency lanyard" to summon help from facility staff members.

When staff members arrived, Tremper fled. Citrus Heights police found him a short distance from the apartments in a wooded area. George identified Tremper as the man who attacked him, and police recovered George's belongings.

Tremper has five 2005 strike convictions for four robberies and a carjacking, according to the District Attorney's Office. His criminal history also includes convictions for solicitation for murder, assault with a deadly weapon, burglary and vehicle thefts.

Tremper is to be sentenced April 27 by Sacramento Superior Court Judge Russell Hom.